Description: This article talks about the court system that exist in the United Stated, and the differences between them by using two examples to explain the procedure of how the law system works.
Today we’re discussing the court systems that exists within the United States, and there are two types of court systems that exist. One is the federal court, which deals with disputes between laws that apply to United States, so let’s start with the Constitution and stuff dealing with federal law.
Then you have the state courts, we dispute about state laws, so that would include things like family law, which should be divorce custody juvenile cases as well as criminal cases and traffic cases. So the structure of the federal court system and state courses are similar, here’s a federal court system, it starts first to the US district courts.
The district courts is where you hear cases for the first time, so if you are unsatisfied with the decision of a district court, you would appeal the cases to the court where it reviews cases from the district court, which is called an appellate court.
The highest court is the US Supreme Court which review cases from the Court of Appeals, they don’t review every single case, but only those cases that have implications for the entire United States. It is the court where the judicial review occurs, it reviews the acts of Congress and president constitutional or not. There are 94 district courts located in all 50 states and the US territories. The district courts are organized to form 12 regional circuits, there’s a Court of Appeals, then we have a Supreme Court located in Washington DC.
The state court system is similar to the federal court system. When you trial course, you hear the course for the first time in the Court of Appeals, where you can review cases from the District Court, then you have the highest court which are call Supreme Court, they review the cases from the Court of Appeals.
But Maryland is a little bit different, in the state of Maryland, you have Circuit Courts, a set of a Court of Appeals, which is called the court of Special Appeals. Maryland is comprised of 23 countries, and the independent city of Baltimore, so they group together to form 8 Circuit Courts, the Court of Special Appeals is located in Annapolis Maryland. It is the same structure, but with different names.
You will hear cases which include federal issues in the federal court, which involves US laws and treaties. In the state court, you will hear civil cases such as marriage, divorce, family juvenile cases.
The election of the judges can be different from states to states, some people can be elected for years, unless they are removed or impeached for misbehavior. In some cases, judges can be at the position for life, this is based on the different rules on how they select judges. But the federal judge can be hold office for a lifetime turn.
Let’s see how a state issue can become a federal issue. Let’s see the case of Ernesto Miranda. He was accused of his crimes, but he wasn’t properly told his rights, he was arrested and charged with criminal crimes, as you know, criminal crime can be located on the state level, so he tried within the Arizona State court system, they didn’t agree with how the trial had come about, they felt that it infringed upon his constitutional rights, so they appealed it to the Arizona Supreme Court which is the highest court, where he was sentenced to 20 to 30 years.
His conviction went agaist the Fifth Amendment in the sixth amendment, which was a right to be free from stuff and the right to have a lawyer present during interrogation when he was under custody, it was a constitution issue, so it went to the federal court system. In this case, the state and federal court are separated, but they can also join together.
For example in the case of Tinka, the students were suspended from school to protest the Vietnam War and were sent home, so the parents filed a suit with the US District Court, we know that the US District Court is the lower court of the federal system, they gave the decision to uphold in both the US District Court and US Court of Appeals, so they appeal to the Supreme Court.
It was against the First Amendment, thus making it a constant issue again. We know that when issues of dealing with the Constitution, they get handled in the federal court system.